Hill delivers brutal Verstappen verdict after Imola victory

Max Verstappen has been hailed as simply “better than the rest” by 1996 world champion Damon Hill, following his hard-fought victory in the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix.

Red Bull was not the usual dominant force at Imola, with Verstappen using all his skills to claim a victory that was in many ways unexpected.

The Milton Keynes-based team struggled during FP3, highlighted by Sergio Perez's accident in FP3. However, against all odds, Verstappen overtook McLaren to take pole position.

Verstappen had a huge lead for the majority of the race but suddenly Lando Norris caught up with him in the final laps. A heroic defense saw the 26-year-old win by just seven-tenths of a second.

From Hill's point of view, Verstappen will be very satisfied with the win, as his talent was the main difference.

“For once, Red Bull didn't have a dominant car at its disposal, and it was just the driver who made the difference,” Hill said. Sky Sports F1.

“This kind of victory gives the driver more satisfaction than a solo performance at the front.”

Verstappen's talent is in demand

Imola was undoubtedly Red Bull's toughest weekend of the season, with the Austrian team clearly not having the fastest package.

Verstappen was pushed by Norris, so much so that Hill made it clear that Verstappen would have to rely on his outright ability rather than the RB20.

“Max knows exactly what to do,” Hill added. “He got first place as well as the victory. Max is better than the rest, right? He had to use all his talent to win.”

Thanks to Norris' impressive late pace, Verstappen had to work hard, with both drivers finishing first and second in successive races.

For this reason, Hill wonders if there is competition between the pair.

“I was also very happy with Lando’s performance,” Hill continued. “A healthy sporting rivalry seems to be developing between him and Verstappen.”


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